Though Theta Delta Chi has been proudly and endearingly referred to as the “Boom Boom Lodge” by its brothers for many decades, many undergraduate and alumni brothers alike are unaware of the origins of this historic nickname. Many assume it is merely some casual term of arbitrary origin, that sounds catchy and ended up sticking. Others like the “cool” ring to the nickname, or simply that it can be shortened to refer to our revered fraternity as “The Lodge.” What many do not know, however, is the story of the historic tragedy that marked a milestone in the history of the Omicron Deuteron Charge of Theta Delta Chi, and was the reason that all of us, to this day, are referred to as “The Lodgeboys.”
The period of time spanning the years from 1920 to 1933 was widely known as the “Prohibition Era” in the United States of America. During this time, as a result of the passage of the eighteenth amendment to the Constitution, alcohol could not be manufactured, sold, or distributed by any means throughout the country. Subsequently, underground distribution of alcohol, ranging from personal sales to massive “black market” operations, was quite common throughout this period.
The “Boom Boom Lodge” was coined as such early on in the Prohibition Era. Robert Meads, a Dartmouth undergraduate of the class of 1919, ran an alcohol bootlegging operation during this period of time when alcohol was illegal nationwide. Theta Delta Chi brother Henry Maroney, of the class of 1920, secretly arranged to purchase a bottle of whiskey from Meads. When he was unable to front the money for the bottle, he quickly snatched the bottle of whiskey from Meads’ room, jumped out the window of his dormitory, and ran back to his room at Theta Delt. According to the version of the story within the brotherhood, Meads lived Mid Massachusetts Row, or “Mid Mass,” and this is where Maroney ran from.
Later that night, Meads made an armed visit to Theta Delt in search of Maroney. He found Maroney in his upstairs bedroom, shot him twice through the heart, and fled the scene of the crime. To this day, the two shots that killed Henry Maroney, Class of 1920, are responsible for the two “booms” that comprise our undying nickname, The Boom Boom Lodge.